Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hatchet: A Thrilling Roller Coaster

Ethan McFerren
Mr. Koch
English 9H
October 3, 2014
 Hatchet: A Thrilling Roller Coaster
            The outdoors, a hatchet, near death experiences, animal attacks, surviving by a teeny thread. These are all included in Hatchet, the ultimate survival book about a boy named Brian Robeson who is hopelessly stranded in the middle of the Canadian forest. And he has absolutely nothing with him except one little hatchet. Brian got stranded in the forest because the pilot flying him to his father in Canada got a heart attack and died. He then attempted to land the plane near a lake after trying in vain to get help via radio. For nearly two months alone he was forced to make a shelter and get food and fire after crash-landing the plane near the lake.
Brian is a similar character to Chet in the Hardy boys series because both are stocky and anxious characters, both for good reasons. They worry for good reasons because both have to deal with life threatening situations, Chet with helping the Hardy boys fight crime, and Brian with the hopeful chance of surviving in an endless wilderness. They are also brave, resourceful, and smart. Brian has to fight his past as he recalls his parent’s divorce and the Secret. The Secret is capitalized in the book because it is very important to Brian. His mom divorced his dad because she was in love with another man, which only Brian knows and refers to as the Secret. Different parts of the Secret were revealed in different parts of the book.
This book is also similar to a T.V. show called Dual Survival. In the show, two men are placed in harsh climates like the desert, tundra, an island, etc. and they must survive with limited materials they have by getting fire, finding food and water, and creating shelters. Brian was forced to do all these things and more. He had to find a good place for a shelter on a ridge and build a door and walls. He already had access to a lake, but he had to create weapons to hunt for food, like a bow, arrows, and a spear, and he had to start a fire. The reason this book is called Hatchet is because Brian wouldn’t have survived without his hatchet. His hatchet, given to him by his mother as a present, helped him cut down wood for his shelter and make weapons, and also helped him make a fire by reflecting the sunlight from his hatchet to his wood pile to start a fire. It was also used as a weapon of defense. The hatchet was most useful at the end when he hammered his way into the plane that he crashed to help him find a survival kit, which gave Brian the upper hand at surviving.

The author Gary Paulsen has a writing style similar to R.E. Weber, author of Star Agency. The reason they are similar is because both have mind-blowing detail incorporated in their books. R.E. Weber describes planets and space stations so it paints a clear image in my head. Gary Paulsen describes the forest and Brian’s struggle so vividly that I feel I am watching Brian in a movie. Also, I could tell Paulsen researched and included real life survival skills into his book, which makes it more realistic, relatable and heart-pounding.  


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